updated 08:26 pm EDT, Thu July 19, 2012
Elop tries to allay upgrade concerns, speaks on China
Nokia will capitalize on its special relationship with Microsoft and be the first handset manufacturer to produce a Windows Phone 8 smartphone this fall. This seems to be the takeaway from Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who spoke to analysts today following the company's announcement of large losses in the quarter ending June 30. Elop also touched on the lack of an upgrade option for current Windows Phone 7 units, as well as Nokia's losing market share to Android in China.
Asked if Nokia would make the first Windows Phone 8 handset, Elop avoided a direct answer, pointing instead to the fact that, when Windows Phone 8 has been shown off, it has been shown off on a Nokia phone. Elop then went on to talk about the "close relationship" Nokia has with Microsoft, which he said is "unlike what anyone else has with Microsoft."
Elop avoided anything concrete when asked about any possibility of rewarding current Lumia purchasers with an upgrade to a WP8 handset. Elop noted that WP7 phones would still get some WP8 features, including the start screen and live tiles. He also hinted that the WP7 Lumia line could see further price cuts as the WP8 launch date approaches.
Elop then went on to dismiss concerns over fragmentation in the Windows Phone base. More than 60 percent of Android devices, he said, were three versions older than the current OS, but those devices are still selling well.
Questioned on Android's momentum in China, Elop noted the difficult position Nokia faces in that market. He classified China as a "unique market" where subsidized devices had gained a momentum Nokia had had difficulty in matching. [via TechCrunch]